RWJ University Hospital at Somerset

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset is a nationally accredited, 355-bed hospital in Somerville, New Jersey, providing comprehensive emergency, medical/surgical and rehabilitative services. The hospital is nationally recognized as a Magnet® hospital for nursing excellence and has received an “A” safety rating from the Leapfrog Group. The Steeplechase Cancer Center at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset has been honored with the prestigious Outstanding Achievement Award from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons. The hospital is also distinguished for its Joint Surgery Institute, receiving the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for total knee and total hip replacement surgery, and is designated as a Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission and the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services. In addition, it has received the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for its acute myocardial infarction program.

The Department of Pharmacy provides pharmaceutical services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are approximately 34 FTEs including managers, pharmacists, residents, technicians and support staff. All pharmacy technicians are certified by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and assist pharmacists in filling orders, medication delivery, and sterile and non-sterile product compounding. Clinical services are provided in various areas such as; internal medicine, critical care, emergency medicine, geriatrics, infectious diseases, oncology.

Medication is dispensed via a point of care decentralized distribution model supported by automated dispensing cabinets (ADC) on patient care units which provide nurses ready access to medications. A complete IV admixture service compliant to United States Pharmacopeia (USP) 797 regulations is also provided.

With a dedicated staff of employees, modern facilities, state-of-the-art technology, a strong commitment to medication safety and performance improvement, a focus on customer service, and a role in educating future health-care professionals, the Department of Pharmacy at RWJ University Hospital-Somerset is devoted to delivering operational and clinical excellence, while advancing care and maintaining financial and operational growth.

The staff is supported by hospital and pharmacy department information systems that provide up-to-date patient information and on-line drug information resources. Pharmacists continually contribute to the enhancement of the electronic medical record enabling the technology to provide optimal decision support. The majority of medication orders are received via Computer Provider Order Entry (CPOE), entered by Pharmacy onto an Electronic Medication Record e-MAR and subsequently administered utilizing bedside bar-coding at the point-of-care. The use of this state-of-the-art technology enhances medication safety.

Clinical programs that have been developed by the Department of Pharmacy include; drug dosing and desensitization protocols, Antimicrobial Stewardship Program, vancomycin pharmacokinetic service and an anticoagulation monitoring program). The clinical pharmacy program is supported by three Rutgers Faculty in the areas of family medicine, critical care, and the emergency department. Each of the faculty are residency trained and dual board certified. The Department is also involved in numerous research activities, frequently publish and present scholarly work, and provide external educational programs on a national, state and local level. RWJ Somerset is one of two New Jersey hospitals selected to participate in the Marquis 2 research study, a national multi-center medication reconciliation quality improvement study whose goal is to implement medication reconciliation interventions that improve patient safety during care transitions.

Pharmacists provide drug information and education to medical and nursing staff as well as patients, caregivers, and other members of the health care team to promote the safe, effective, efficient, and patient-centered use of medication therapy. Pharmacy based individual patient counseling focusing on anticoagulant medications, congestive heart failure medications, and geriatric discharge medications is provided to inpatients.

RWJ University Hospital-Somerset Department of Pharmacy is currently affiliated with Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University, precepting more than 50 students per year and serving as a Knight Scholar site. The Department has established training and continuing education programs to foster the professional development of staff and students, and has had a PGY-1 residency program since 2015 with two PGY-1 resident positions.

RWJ University Hospital at Somerset Pharmacy Leadership


Stuart Vigdor, RPh

Director of Pharmacy Service

Nancy Doherty, MS, RPh

Clinical Coordinator, Medication Safety Officer & PGY1 Residency Program Director

Fatema Dhanaliwala, RPh

Pharmacy Operations Supervisor & Clean Room Supervisor

Pallavi Nagarkar, RPh

Pharmacy System Administrator